Mnangagwa has failed to reform Mugabe’s ‘abysmal’ human rights record: Amnesty International

Political Review Writer

The global human rights body, Amnesty International, says the administration of President Mnangagwa has failed to improve on human rights situation in Zimbabwe in the past five years.

In a report released this week titled, “Human Rights Under Attack: A Review of Zimbabwe’s Human Rights Record 2018-2023”, Amnesty International documents a litany of political, social and economic human rights violations that it argues have been entrenched by President Mnangagwa’s government since his coming into power in 2017.

Amnesty International states that former President Mugabe’s “absymal” record simply continues.

“The enduring legacy of the late former president Robert Mugabe’s government
was undoubtedly one of violence and oppression,” the report states.

“Under Robert Mugabe’s rule, human rights were severely curtailed for decades, as violence characterised electoral processes, opposing voices were persecuted and protests violently dispersed.

“The resignation of Robert Mugabe as president in 2017 through a military-assisted
transition and the holding of elections in 2018 raised hope for a new Zimbabwe.

“The sense that human rights reform could be achieved in Zimbabwe was palpable and
shared by both Zimbabweans and the international community,” the report suggests.

However, not much has changed, according to Amnesty International.

Damning… Amnesty International briefing on Zimbabwe human rights since 2018

It discusses a number of concerns such as failure to effectively tackle the erosion of economic and social rights such as healthcare, natural disasters, food security and sexual and reproductive health services.

The report is damning on Government’s alleged repression on political and civil rights stating that, “the Zimbabwean government has carried on in the same tradition (of previous administration) using the law as an instrument of oppression and a means of cracking down on human rights.”

“It is clear that the current administration
is opposed to peaceful dissent and the
communication of information that is contrary to its narrative,” the briefing says.

Violations

Among other violations, Amnesty International documents attacks on journalists, “persecution by prosecution”, excessive use of force, arbitrary arrests and detention. The report also accuses authorities of excessive use of force and denial of rights to fair trial of offenders.

The report accuses Harare of falling to address statelessness of some citizens.

“Zimbabwean government has failed
to remove the administrative obstacles to the
enjoyment of the rights to citizenship, particularly for the descendants of migrants who migrated to Zimbabwe before independence and to victims of Gukurahundi and their descendants,” the report says.

The report recommends a number of actions by the Government to repair it’s human rights image.

“Amnesty International calls on the Government of Zimbabwe to adhere to
the Constitution of Zimbabwe and to ensure that the values and principles it
enshrines are translated into legislation protecting people’s human rights and
welfare,” the group says.

” The legacy of the past government was the enactment of repressive
laws. Breaking away from that legacy means that parliament must actively seek
to create a corpus of laws that ensures the promotion and protection of people’s
rights.”

Government of Zimbabwe had not responded to the report at the time of writing.

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